I am not a religious man. My feelings about religion are nothing more than my own conclusions. Offending anyone is not my goal. I am however very spiritual and events in my life have opened the door to spirituality in a way I never saw coming. I would like to share those events with you, and my hope is that I can touch those who read beyond this paragraph. To those who read on – you have given my life purpose, and I thank you for that. To those who don’t, in the words of Johnny Carson, “May the fleas of a thousand camels nest in your shorts”
For two years I have been battling cancer – prostate cancer. Honestly, I am tired of everything to do with it. I am tired of doctor appointments. I am tired of traveling for treatments, and examinations. I am tired of hospitals, and waiting rooms. I am tired of needles, and blood draws. I am tired of waiting for test results. I am tired of the anxiety, and self-loathing that comes along with all of the above. It is plain, and simple, getting old.
I have wondered over and over how this happened to me. I have read everything I could find on the subject, and I still have no answers. In reality the curse is not that I have cancer, but that I have no answers. In fact, believe it or not, the very fact that I have cancer I see as a blessing. Now, before you go thinking that is hogwash, let me explain. Of course I am not happy that I have a horrible disease that will most likely take my life, but I am happy that I have found something that has forced me to look at the world, and my place in it, in a different light. Something that I know I would have never done without cancer.
There is not a day that goes by that I do not personally witness another human being who gets worked-up about something; whenever I do, it saddens me. To be honest – I am not sure if it is because I feel compassion for them, or if it is because that I know that I have wasted fifty-years of my own life doing the same thing. I guess it doesn’t really matter why it does just as long as I am conscious to the emotion that overcomes me at that moment.
I don’t want to sound as if I have some Gandhi-like attribute that allows me any more insight into life than anyone else has – because I don’t. I do, though, have a little voice in my head that always says, “Relax – it’s not that bad.” Sometimes, when I know the individual who is getting upset, I tell them just that. Those who know me, and what I am up against, seem to feel a little embarrassed that they allowed themselves to get worked up over their issue. I admit that I use my health issue as a tool to make them think, but I don’t do it for pity. I do it to help that person get out of the state of stress that they are in. If I were a super-hero, my power would be ‘guilt.’ I have come to the conclusion that it is okay for me to use my power as long as my intent is for good, and not for evil, and 'good' is always my intent.
It is not easy having this power. I often forget I have it, and allow even myself to get worked up over dumb things like arguing with a satellite company on the phone for several hours (I don’t give up easily). Eventually I realize the wrong of my way, and take a few deep breaths. That is usually followed by the self-loathing, and then hearing a voice in my head saying, “Let it go – it’s not worth it.” That voice helps me understand that I shouldn’t waste even one second on things that are only visible in the rear-view mirror (even those that may be closer than they appear).
So, to all my family, friends, colleagues, and to the occasional random stranger – if you find yourself, angry, irritated, upset, and red in the face, and then out of no where you hear someone say, “Relax – it’s not that bad,” don’t be surprised if you turn to find me standing there with my cape, mask, and giant ‘G’ across my chest.
Do you think I need a side-kick?